Former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Otu Ita Otoyo, joined by erstwhile federal lawmakers, Senator Aloysius Etok and Hon. Eseme Eyiboh have defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Ex-Chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area who was also among the many other decampees were received into the party at a prayer summit and reception held in honour of the Appeal Court victory of the APC candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Obong Umana Umana.
The defectors noted that the PDP was no longer the party they once believed in, lamenting that it has been hijacked by a few people.
Toyo, who berated the PDP for deviating from the ideals upon which the party was founded, said it was that deviation that caused Akwa Ibom people to seek change.
While urging people of the state to embrace the change which APC represents, he said,
“We brought change to Akwa Ibom in 2007, but that change has been hijacked by a few people for themselves. I screamed but nobody listened, today, Akwa Ibom people have decided for change and as such have moved to a new party.”
On his part, Aloysius Etok, who was a two term senator, thanked Umana Umana for “championing the struggle to liberate the state”, assuring that the APC administration will redeem the state and reposition it to achieve unfulfilled potentials.
Also speaking, the former spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Eseme Eyibo said he was joining the APC, to “take part in the struggle to rescue the state and its people”. He maintained that things cannot be allowed to continue as they are.
The South-South National Vice Chairman of the APC, Chief Elias Eta, while receiving the decampees into the party, said this time around, they would defend every vote cast by the party in Akwa Ibom.
He lamented the violence that marred the last election and urged the people not to be intimidated by the PDP, assuring that security agents and thugs will not be allowed to disrupt the forthcoming rerun.
“The former governor, Godswill Akpabio has done a lot of things and he will be made to account for them. All those who are working against good governance will not be allowed to succeed”, he said.
When it was time for him to speak, the APC candidate, Obong Umana Umana hailed the decampees for their courage, saying with their support and that of Akwa Ibom electorate, they will reclaim “their stolen mandate”.
He thanked the people for standing against what he called tyranny and injustice, stressing that, “the God of justice and blood of innocent voters killed during the the past election will see the party to victory”.
“The victories at both the tribunal and Appeal Court are not just for me as a person. They are for the people. You have proven that no weapon or amount of money can break you. The battle is between freedom and slavery and this event has shown that the people have chosen freedom”, he added.
He urged the people to further show their support by turning up en mass to cast their votes during the forthcoming elections.
The APC candidate further applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his anti-corruption stance, urging him to carry on. He assured the president of the support of Akwa Ibomites.